We have certainly been focused on improving our health this year. June is Men’s Health Month and provides a great opportunity to focus on some simple tips that men can follow to shore up their health. These five guidelines will not only assist with a man’s physical health, but also their mental health.
Make Annual Appointments
Men are notoriously the punchline for jokes about not going to the doctor until they are on their death bed. Let’s stop the joking! Annual check-ups ensure you and your doctor are both aware of your health issues. Annual exams and blood tests can look at blood pressure, warning signs of heart disease, obesity, and cholesterol. Staying on top of these health issues through regular doctor’s visits can extend your life and improve your overall health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet does not mean eating just salads. Look at MyPlate.gov to see what a healthy plate should look like for each meal. Cut down on sugar intake, make half your meal fruits and vegetables, and vary up your protein routine. Healthy food choices do more than assist with weight loss, they also decrease your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Know Your Family History
Does your family have a history of cancer? What about heart disease? Men who know their family’s medical history can share this information with their doctor so that they can be better informed about possible issues in the future. Knowing that your family has certain proclivities to disease, allows you to go on the offensive with your health. Write down your medical history and that of your parents and close relatives.
Get Your Sleep
Adults need 7–9 hours of sleep each night. According to the Sleep Foundation, “Sleep allows the brain and body to slow down and engage in processes of recovery, promoting better physical and mental performance the next day and over the long-term.” Men should make sure they get enough sleep each night because poor sleep is also closely related to increased chances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Strengthen Your Relationship Bonds
Connecting with others has been proven to improve your overall health and even extend your life. As we grow older, relationships are harder to build as families are built, jobs change, and interests evolve. We’ve all seen how isolation and social distancing negatively affect our mental health this year. Solid relationships allow you to have accountability with others about struggles you may have, give you a network of support in a health crisis, and even improve your self-esteem. When you have good mental health, your physical health will also be affected. Men must work to create and maintain relationship bonds for the sake of their mental and physical well-being.
The mental and physical health of the men in our lives can easily be improved by following these simple tips. From getting enough sleep to eating a healthy diet, these guidelines are certainly a great way to kick-off a healthy routine in your life.